At home in South Australia, one of my favourite winter pastimes is to go whale spotting on a weekend. Luckily you only have to venture to the Fleurieu coast in South Australia to find one of their holiday playgrounds where they spend a few months in warmer waters with their calves. There are certainly other spots in South Australia where you can see them but for proximity to Adelaide and likelihood of spotting whales it’s a good area to start. There is also the added bonus of being able to see them fairly close up from the land and at a popular surfing beach.
The SA Whale Centre is in Victor Harbor and their website gives daily sighting information of whales to enable you to pin point where to go, but in my experience, Middleton never disappoints. The most common species sighted is the Southern Right Whale and they can usually be found anywhere along the coast from Victor Harbor, Port Elliot, Middleton and through to Goolwa.
My favourite spot to see them is along Ocean Parade, Surf Street car park area. (But don’t tell anyone!) You can park the car then walk along a path to a higher vantage spot or walk along the beach and if you’re lucky get both surfers and whales in the same photo.
They are such amazing creatures that whatever the weather is doing you’ll be glued to the spot mesmerised by their incredible size. It’s not unusual to see a mother and calf cruising along together.
This Fleurieu coast area is an easy drive from Adelaide at a little over an hour but if you want to stay and discover the region there are caravan parks at all of the towns mentioned, but for the best for sea views my pick is the Port Elliot Holiday Park. (See other stories on the website for more details)
For a day trip that you can enjoy with the whole family, including the dog, you can’t beat spending time watching the whales at Middleton, or even if they don’t happen to be around, watch the surfers and windsurfers.
Then head to Goolwa Beach, less than 10 minutes away, where you can park and walk to the top of a viewing platform to get an awesome scenic view along the beach. You can wander along the beach with the dog and feel invigorated by the power of the Southern Ocean.
There is Bombora Café right on the beach front to have a bite to eat or head back into the town of Goolwa and pick something up from the always popular Goolwa Bakery before heading towards the river along Liverpool Road to Richard Ballard Park. At this green riverside park you can sit at benches or under a shelter and enjoy lunch while watching the river traffic, take in views of the Murray River and the bridge to Hindmarsh Island.
A great way to spend a day out and enjoy the coastal environment and wildlife in winter.
Happy whale spotting